1 Rewind (Scann-Tec) 6:56
2 Sensitive Mind (Fingers in the Noise) 6:37
3 Winter Shell (I Awake) 5:31
4 Oak Branches (Martin Nonstatic) 6:03
5 Frost (Lars Leonhard) 5:19
6 Serene (Miktek) 5:49
7 Lunokhod-Winter Mix (Circular) 8:33
8 Blue Fish-Winter Mix( Master Margherita & Ermetico) 6:48
9 Lumière Noire (Asura) 9:03
10 Beneath (Aes Dana) 5:09
Ultimae Records (DDL 65:54) ***¾ (Psybient down-tempos)
It's with waves which snore by whistling that the noises of chimney fire which open "Rewind" become ignored. A heavy synth layer, rather enveloping, keeps a dark eye while elements of a psychedelism, all hampered, encircle the longitudinal waves of ambiences in "Rewind" of which the only rhythm shade is these percussions which hobble like some limp clogs on an ice-cold ground. Other synth waves are added to this dense ambient movement. Their slow circular impulses awaken a bass line which will become the main rhythmic food of this music piece from Scann-Tec which opens this last compilation from the Ultimae Records label. Quite fragile and fine, a melody and its coat of arms of glass hesitates to float on the slow rhythm of "Rewind" which little by little becomes a delicious but smooth down-tempo decorated with these sound elements which make the trademark of this label based in Lyons, France. "Rewind" sets the tone to “Enfold”; a free musical compilation from Ultimae Records, available here, having for theme the sweetness and the relaxation with winter moods. This compilation also underlines the 15th birthday of the label with 10 new musical pieces, mixed and mastered by Vincent Villuis, where the borders of the cosmos meet the depths of our feelings. You can taste the whole thing here on You Tube...
"Sensitive Mind", from Fingers in the Noise, is my first very favorite in “Enfold”. Astral and magnificently well structured, the melody is like a chant from spectre which still possesses its human feelings. The synths irradiate a celestial luminosity which moderates the palpitations of a rhythm swallowing its fury. That's very beautiful and it really does actually a very wintry ambiance, even of X-Mas, and it has nothing to envy to the repertoire of ambiocosmic melodies from Michael Stearns. The first real down-tempo comes from harmonies and from the slow rhythm of "Winter Shell", a composition from I Awake. The melody is spectral and will haunt your ears many minutes farther with a mysterious halieutic aura while the ambiences are near psychedelism with Aeolian lamentations dark and aggressive which melt themselves in the somber moods of "Oak Branches" from Martin Nonstatic. The music is all of ambiences with debuts of rhythms, or melodies, which get lost in a profound psychedelic theme where gurglings, arrhythmic pulsations of a bass line and lost notes of guitar grafted in forgotten are getting lost, get evaporate under a sonic sky which is multicolored of lines scraping of cold. Then comes the delicate and very melancholic "Frost" from Lars Leonhard. The rhythm is as much absent as ambient than the melody could be so pensive. "Serene" wears magnificently well its name. Miktek excels at the art of forging melodies out of synth breezes, and this one is superbly captivating. An astral bed which rocks us slowly up to the doors of the unknown. And he also knows how to forge soft rhythms out of nothing, like these noises of ballast which melt in a soft and very lascivious down-tempo. "Lunokhod-Winter Mix" from Circular is a rather intense moment in this compilation. The result of this Mix is as great as the original which lives on Moon Pool but with a more ambient and icier envelope. This is a splendid music and a touching down-tempo forged in the seeds of winter. Synth waves which spread ambient noises and whispers, "Blue Fish-Winter Mix" from Master Margherita & Ermetico starts rather slowly before offering a line of bass which pounds rather gluttonously beneath this thick crust of dark synth waves. The pulsations forge a delicate black rhythm of which the beatings are also weavers of an abstract melody which melt its charms in the reflections of the rippling lines of synth. The environment always inhales of this psybient approach so characteristic to the Lyons based label, and the more we move forward and the more these elements widen their influences, their empire. "Lumière Noire" from Asura plunges us into an ambient universe as opaque as the one in "Oak Branches". Except that the celestial elements are replaced by heavy industrial breaths. And the more it goes, and the more it's black. It's also the prelude which will form a good effect of crescendo with the black rhythm which crumbles its pulsations in an interesting organic fauna from Aes Dana in "Beneath". We could not have a better musical, a much sounding pattern to describe the spirit of the track.
The universe of Ultimae Records is one of magic. I'm not a lover of ambient music fed of weird tones. I learnt to like this psybient genre, which I thought of knowing under another shape, with the music from this label. “Enfold” is a superb collection where all these parasitic noises amplify the beauty of the evasive melodies and the structures of these ambient down-tempos which brings us up until the sources of the moons. As metaphoric as real! I adore this label, its signature. I adore what they are doing, because the creativity is source of curiosity. And when it's beautiful, and when it's harmonious, it's because it is well done.
Sylvain Lupari (December 09th, 2015)